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The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
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The Lace Reader (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Brunonia Barry

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2,6452332,261 (3.54)480
Member:smallwonder56
Title:The Lace Reader
Authors:Brunonia Barry
Info:Flap Jacket Press (2007), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

The Lace Reader: A Novel by Brunonia Barry (2006)

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» See also 480 mentions

English (229)  Spanish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Italian (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (235)
Showing 1-5 of 229 (next | show all)
In many ways, this was a book well worth reading. I feared at first that it would turn out to be a "look at all the witches in Salem" story but discovered a nuanced, well-written book that delves into a woman's past. The use of an unreliable narrator is always tricky for an author to pull off, and Barry does an exceptional job for the most part. She balances what readers learn through the protagonist with the viewpoints of other characters, all filtered through the protagonist but valid nonetheless.
In addition, the writing itself is of very good quality. That alone kept me reading long enough to give the plotline a chance, and to connect with the main character. I was happy that it kept me reading long enough to care about the woman.
There were moments when it slipped back into too-common cliches, and a few times I thought that if it continued in that vein, I would put it down. But I never abandoned the novel.
The ending was beautifully written, well crafted, and yet it was dissatisfying. Despite all the points that proved the protagonist was unreliable, her total lack of memory concerning her sister simply wasn't credible. I was disappointed over this but not to the point that I will refuse to read other books by this author. I will seek out her other books to see if she handled them better. ( )
  Laine-Cunningham | Feb 22, 2015 |
I'd like to read more of this author. ( )
  whybehave2002 | Feb 4, 2015 |
I'd like to read more of this author. ( )
  whybehave2002 | Feb 4, 2015 |
You know, usually, I see the twist coming, and I probably had some hints along the way I brushed off. But the ending of this book threw me for a LOOP. ( )
  dukedukegoose | Jan 26, 2015 |
I had trouble getting into this book at first. Not sure if it was just the timing or my mind set. I enjoyed the book once I got into it. You have Towner Whitney, whose real name is Sophya. Her family is from Salem and can read the future in the patterns of lace. The women have many secrets about their family. Towner comes back to Salem to look for her Auntie Eva. I found myself drawn into the stories of Salem history and the witchcraft mentioned in the book. I am glad that our book club chose this book for January. ( )
  crazy4reading | Jan 19, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 229 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brunonia Barryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bresnahan, AlyssaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sandberg, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The Lace Reader must stare at the piece of lace until the pattern blurs and the face of the Seeker disappears completely behind the veil. When the eyes begin to fill with tears and the patience is long exhausted, there will appear a glimpse of something not quite seen. In this moment an image will begin to form . . . in the space between what is real and what is only imagined. --The Lace Reader's Guide
Dedication
To my wonderful husband, Gary, and to my sister-in-law Joanne's magical red hair
First words
My name is Towner Whitney. No, that's not exactly true. My real first name is Sophya. Never believe me. I lie all the time.
Quotations
He was worse than a Starbucks snob, but he didn't tell her that. He didn't even drink Starbucks coffee. Used to. Then, last year, his daughter had saved up her allowance and bought him a French press for Christmas, and now he couldn't drink his coffee any other way.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Towner Whitney, descended from a line of mind readers and fortune tellers, returns to Salem, Massachusetts to recover from several traumas and discovers that her great-aunt Eva has suspiciously drowned, and local cop John Rafferty looks into the mystery while falling for Towner.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061624764, Hardcover)

Amazon Best of the Month, August 2008: Brunonia Barry dreamt she saw a prophecy in a piece of lace, a vision so potent she spun it into a novel. The Lace Reader retains the strange magic of a vivid dream, though Barry's portrayal of modern-day Salem, Massachusetts--with its fascinating cast of eccentrics--is reportedly spot-on. Some of its stranger residents include generations of Whitney women, with a gift for seeing the future in the lace they make. Towner Whitney, back to Salem from self-imposed exile on the West Coast, has plans for recuperation that evaporate with her great-aunt Eva's mysterious drowning. Fighting fear from a traumatic adolescence she can barely remember, Towner digs in for answers. But questions compound with the disappearance of a young woman under the thrall of a local fire-and-brimstone preacher, whose history of violence against Whitney women makes the situation personal for Towner. Her role in cop John Rafferty's investigation sparks a tentative romance. And as they scramble to avert disaster, the past that had slipped through the gaps in Towner's memory explodes into the present with a violence that capsizes her concept of truth. Readers will look back at the story in a new light, picking out the clues in this complex, lovely piece of work. --Mari Malcolm

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:57 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A young woman descended from a long line of mind readers and fortune tellers has returned to her hometown of Salem, Massachusetts, for rest and relaxation. Any tranquility in her life is short-lived, however, when her aunt drowns under mysterious circumstances.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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